“Oh, rosy faced one, are you the personified numen of Respect, Renown or Resplendence, or the Felicitous Lakshmi herself, or oh, curvaceous one, are you a nymphal Apsara, or the numen of Benefactress, or a self-motivated woman, or Rati Devi, the consort of Manmatha, the Love God.
“Your teeth are evenly, smooth and their tips are like jasmine buds, and your whitish broad eyes are spotless, reddish at ends, and pupils are black.
“Your hips are beamy, thighs burly akin to elephant’s trunks, and these two breasts of yours that are ornamented with best jewellery are rotund, rubbing and bumping each other, and they are swinging up and up, their nipples are brawny and jutting out, and they are smoothish like palm-fruits, thus they are covetable for they are beautiful.”
Before I come back to that piece of poetry above, let me provide a bit of background.
In November I mentioned a sex-scandal in South India surrounding the actress Khushboo (pictured) whose mistake was to advocate safe sex and state “no educated man in India can expect his bride to be a virgin” or something along those lines.
Forget a debate around freedom of speech; she faced protests, burning effigies and 25 lawsuits on defamation of “hurting Tamil sentiments”. Then Sania Mirza also waded in with her own comments.
Now the right-wing Hindu fanatics from the VHP (a big national organisation) have also jumped on the bandagon, putting her on their harassment hitlist. Meanwhile newspaper columnists, who could give Melanie Phillips a run for her money, continue with their drivel.
The moral police in India is getting increasingly uptight these days to the extent they recently published these “guidelines” for tourists to Rajasthan.
1) Men should never touch women in public, even to help a woman out of a car, unless the lady is very elderly or infirm
2) In Indian culture… men socialise with men, and women with women
3) Married couples in Asia do not hug, hold hands or kiss in public. Even embracing at airports and train stations is considered out of the question
4) Generally it is improper for women to speak with strangers on the street and especially to strike up a casual conversation
5) Drinking alcohol or smoking in public, no matter how innocent, are interpreted as a sign of moral laxity and are not acceptable.
Basically, the kind of stuff your dad told you when you were young and you then instantly ignored.
It came after an Israeli couple were fined $22 for kissing during their Hindu wedding ceremony! A tale for the grandkids no doubt.
Going back to the original tale, Khushboo is still due in court later this month and the case carries on without any respite for the poor woman.
That has prompted bloggers to ask when other texts will also be banned by the moral police. After all, Indians wrote the Kama Sutra and our temples are adorned with figurines in sexual positions.
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Filed in: Culture,Humour,South Asia